Hometown: Ecuador; Bronx, New York
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture '25
What kind of questions or curiosities did you have when you decided to pursue a degree in landscape architecture?
Where is this career going to take me? Are there people from a similar background as me studying this field?
How would you characterize your design ethos or process?
As a freshman in the landscape architecture major, I have been exposed to several projects that have challenged and molded my existing design process. Before coming to Cornell and studying landscape architecture, my design process had a very narrow focus. The art I created in different kinds of media was my own, and I saw its value through the significance people and myself gave it. Being part of a landscape architecture studio has taught me that art is a form of representation and that on its own has value. These become ways to read the landscape and illustrate our ideas. I now utilize my art as a tool for design.
Being at Cornell, has to live in the Finger Lakes region informed your view on the field, or even broader, the environment?
As of now, I live in the Bronx, New York. I was brought up in a rural city in the Andes, Ecuador, where the landscape is not too different from the one present here in the finger lakes region. Nevertheless, getting used to the city ambiance then moving to the finger lakes region has proven to be a challenging shift. While I miss the familiar noise and commotion of the urban city, the finger lakes regions present a new landscape that reminds me of home and emphasizes the beauty of nature. The landscape of the area influences the perception of my environment. Unlike the urban city, here the landscape frames the human infrastructure and not the other way around. This thinking is something we have explored in studio courses. An event can create an experience, and the finger lakes inspire my creativity and passion for the field.
What kind of organizations or activities have you become involved in within Ithaca?
I am part of the Kessler scholar program here at Cornell. The Kessler scholar program is a community for first-generation college students. During this program, I have made connections with current students across different majors, under the trope of similarity in background. I am also part of the skateboarding club. As a former skateboarder, I identify with the skateboarding community and culture so I am glad to carry that part of me through this transition into this new stage of my life.
What kinds of professional and personal trajectories are you setting for yourself at the moment?
I am, of course, pursuing my bachelor's in landscape architecture in aims to become a licensed landscape architect. However, I would also love to take advantage of the resources and pursue a concentration in the field that I think will fulfill me. I haven't thought of my future plans that far ahead, but I wake up every day excited to be one step closer to reaching my goals.